Mobile email access is quickly becoming the norm as Return Path recently reported that more emails will be opened on smartphones and tablets than through traditional webmail accounts in 2012.

A report from Return Path suggests that growth in smartphones and tablets has changed the way Americans access their personal and professional emails. The company’s study found that emails accessed on mobile devices grew more than 82 percent in March 2012 compared to March 2011.

Return Path also said that mobile email access is set to surpass emails opened on webmail providers later this year. Webmail refers to cloud-based email providers, such as Gmail or Hotmail. While these services are used frequently as smartphone apps, this access refers to mobile use rather than standard webmail access.

The growth of smartphones is nothing new, as the market has steadily risen in the last handful of years. However, reports that demonstrate mobile’s takeover of certain areas should have marketers paying attention.

With mobile becoming the preferred channel for receiving and reading email, developing internet marketing material that can be accessed seamlessly is vital for success moving forward. In general, the mobile web’s role in most tasks has resulted in a demand from Americans that any site they hope to visit be entirely accessible to them from their smartphone or tablet.

Even as open rates from mobile devices grow, companies hoping to launch successful email marketing campaigns must not take the content within their messages for granted.

Brafton recently reported that click-through rates in 2011 dropped compared to 2010 even though open rates increased. Companies must include high-quality content marketing material in their messages and ensure it will function properly when loaded on a mobile device.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.